An exhibition of original artwork and poetry by inmates from HMP Dumfries opened on 3rd October at The Stove, Dumfries. Organised by emerging artists’ platform, blueprint100 and curated by local artist Morgan Hardie, the exhibition included creative contributions ranging from oil on canvas, pastels, watercolours, ink drawings, as well as a selection of written work.
John Oates, Learning Centre Manager at HMP Dumfries, commented, “The Learning Centre at HMP Dumfries has an ethos in which we try to encourage positive learning and positive learning outcomes, including equality, tolerance, inclusiveness and development of community spirit. Through creative practices, we aim to enhance self-esteem and break down cultural barriers; in short, we want to positively change lives.”
The Learning Centre at HMP Dumfries regularly hold celebrations of learning achievement, and the Captive Art 3 Exhibition was a chance for the prisoners to gain public recognition for their achievements, through the attendance of invited guests from the local artistic and educational community. Local SNP member, Joan McAlpine, and Oliver Mundell MSP were amongst those present at the opening of the exhibition, as well as Andy Huntstone, the Deputy Governor at HMP Dumfries. The inmates also had the opportunity to display and sell their work at a recent Creative Art Exhibition at HMP Dumfries, with the proceeds from all sales going to a nominated local charity.
One prisoner commented, “All year long, the poets and artists at HMP Dumfries look forward to this particular event, as it allows us the opportunity to show the positive work that we can produce. The Creative Art Exhibition this year was much bigger and more inclusive than before, and gave those outside the prison walls the chance to see first-hand that there is creativity and enthusiasm to be found inside. Art in its many forms has inspired those in custody to express themselves and contribute to their rehabilitation.”
Captive Art 3 will continue to be on display in The Stove Café until 19th October.